CS1904 Sonas Rating List
1904 Cambridge Springs International Chess Congress
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Sonas Rating List for CS 1904

Place Name (Age) Rating World Rank Final Score
1Frank J. Marshall (26)2534# 1413.0
2David Janowski (35)2645# 711.0
3Emanuel Lasker (35)2767# 111.0
4Georg Marco (40)2567# 99.0
5Jackson W. Showalter (43)2481# 188.5
6Karl Schlechter (29)2651# 67.5
7Mikhail Tchigorin (53)2704# 37.5
8Jacques Mieses (38)2525# 157.0
9H.N. Pillsbury (31)2689# 47.0
10Albert W. Fox (23)2400--6.5
11Richard Teichmann (35)2590# 86.5
12Thomas F. Lawrence (32)2400--5.5
13William E. Napier (22)2442# 245.5
14John F. Barry (30)2400--5.0
15Albert B. Hodges (42)2400--5.0
16Eugene Delmar (62)2350--4.5

Of the "Top Ten" players in the world, the missing players, according to Sonas' rating list are: Siegbert Tarrasch, (invited, but did not attend – for various reasons); G. Maroczy, (invited, but did not attend); and Henry Atkins. (I am not sure if Atkins was invited or not.) So we have seven players out of the World’s Top Ten.

The average rating here is a phenomenal 2534!! This is a category 12 or 13 … but convert this to modern-day ratings … and this tournament would have easily been a category 15-18! (Using the normal rating to adjust for inflation.) Further, Marshall’s PR … by modern standards … would have easily been over 3000!!! (He won ELEVEN, drew FOUR, lost none. +11, = 4, - 0.)

We have the current World Champion, (Lasker); and five other players – who at some point in their careers – played a match for the World Championship. (Super – 19?)

There are also many problems with this list by Sonas. First off – he can find less than FIFTY (50) players in the World to which he can assign a solid and reliable rating to. And many of the players near the bottom of the list … are NOT even masters. Of course this is absolutely ridiculous. (But much of this is really no fault of Jeff Sonas.)

In 1903, The London Chess Club boasted a membership of over 300 players. Statistically, we could expect the Top ONE-Percent to be close to … or even OVER … a Master’s rating. And cities like New York, Chicago, etc. all boasted chess clubs with at least 5 players who are considered to be Masters. The simple problem is the records for that period are just too sketchy, and Sonas has only used records that were reliable and can be substantiated by chess games actually played. (Of course there are dozens of older events where few, if any, records of chess games survive today.)

Many of these players were obviously the best players of their areas. Some were much better than the initial numbers indicated. Barry is nowhere to be found on the Sonas list for 1903, but in 1904 he pops up in the #10 spot with a solid 2500+ rating!!

NO ONE was outmatched … every player won at least one game. The two oldest players were Mikhail Tchigorin and Eugene Delmar. Tchigorin just had a bad tourney – he later won several more events. Delmar, formerly many times the Champion of the State of New York – who was past 60 – was, more than likely, past his prime. But he still acquitted himself well, finishing only a half-point or a point back of men who were half his age.

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